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MDARD designates two testing areas for bovine tuberculosis

Due to the detection of bovine tuberculosis in wild deer from Benzie, Crawford and Otsego counties during the 2023 deer hunting season, Dr. Tim Boring, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, designated two bovine TB testing areas. One area includes specific parts of Benzie and Manistee counties, and the other includes parts of Crawford and Otsego counties. Testing all cattle and bison herds in these areas will help protect animal health, public health and market access for Michigan’s livestock, meat and dairy products.

“Whenever a bovine TB-positive wild deer is encountered outside of counties where the disease is known to be endemic, it is part of MDARD’s routine response to remove all cattle and bison herds within a 10-mile radius to test the location of that deer. ” said State Veterinarian Nora Wineland, DACVPM. “Completing the testing will help Michigan maintain its split-state status and ensure these animals have not contracted the disease. The testing is just one part of MDARD’s comprehensive Bovine TB program, which is steadily working toward eradicating the disease.”

Bovine TB is a bacterial disease that can affect all mammals, including humans. Michigan has two zones as part of the National Tuberculosis Eradication Program: the Bovine TB Free Zone (also called the Accredited Free Zone), which covers 95 percent of the state, and the Modified accredited zone, a four-county area in the northeastern Lower Peninsula. As required by MDARD’s Memorandum of Understanding with the USDA and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, to maintain this split-state status for bovine tuberculosis, a bovine TB testing area must be designated around the site where TB-positive wild deer are harvested outside the areas where TB-positive wild deer are harvested. the MAZ.

Because the testing area for Benzie and Manistee counties was not currently within Michigan’s existing bovine TB testing area or the counties surrounding this area, Public Act 466 required MDARD to hold a public hearing in that region to explain and comment on the proposed testing order to accept. The proposed decision and comments received were then presented to the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development for review at their May 15 meeting. The order to designate this test area was approved.

For the other test area for Crawford and Otsego counties, the public hearing was not necessary due to zoning already in effect for the counties surrounding the MAZ.

All affected manufacturers within these test areas will receive letters with more details about the testing requirements and how to schedule the tests.

For more information about bovine tuberculosis and Michigan’s Bovine TB program, please visit MDARD website.